So here’s what I learned since I last wrote…
A phone call to Aunt Janet after Olena’s last meltdown has made a difference already. Some strategies have been put in place and while we are not meltdown free, we seem to be handling these situations a little better.
- First, these kids are tired. While they did go to Pre-K last year (Theo went all day) I had forgotten that the girls had a half-day, then would go to the sitters where they could take a nap. Sure, they do have quiet time in Kindergarten, but it’s not a guarantee they’d fall asleep…especially now.
- Second, these kids are hungry. We pack a lunch every day but they don’t necessarily eat the said lunch (favorites right now are PB&J, crackers with cheese and lunch meat, as well as some sides and a drink). And, so, a simple meal when we get home seems to help keep them energized and less cranky. And added bonus… this gets the girls at the dinner table while I assist Theodore with his meal. Theo gets to eat. The girls stay relatively calm, eat their snacks, and get to talk about their day a little bit.
- Reinforce GOOD behavior (tonight, Olena actually cleaned up without being asked! Big star for her!).
- Set the example as well and help give Gretchen the correct words to help defend her from Olena’s sometimes rowdy mouth.
- Stay persistent with time outs. Do not engage in a shouting fight while one (or the other, or both) need to cool off.
- It’s OK for the kids to decompress a little bit… watch some TV, play alone, if they need some space.
- Help the kiddos calm down…this is key with Gretchen since she has the tendency to keep on crying (screaming, whining) without the ability to turn it off. When I can I sit with her and try to get her to take deep breaths before starting her time outs.
- Keep on remembering…these kiddos are just 5.
- DO NOT beat yourself up if you lose your cool…take a breather.
- Also, each one of them need some alone time with mom (or dad). Even if it’s a walk outside, or some time on the porch, carve some time out alone. We have yet to start this one.
And with this, like everything else, we continue to move forward.